Peter Hynes – Certainly, I could have made some decisions quicker I also made a few mistakes, but we are still ahead of our target for 2020

We are close to the end of another year of farming which sees me having completed 10 years of farming so far and without doubt we would have to be happy with 10 years of progress. Having completed my paper & presentation for the British Cattle Breeders conference in January it certainly was an eye opener. Genetic gain on farm has been phenomenal. Certainly, I could have made some decisions quicker I also made a few mistakes, but we are still ahead of our target for 2020.

The lessons learned for me looking back are to ensure I select enough bulls for the AI bull team, embrace research and data as fast as possible and above all believe in the long-term game plan. Breeding is absolutely a long-term plan but when the plan starts to fall into place genetic gain can really multiply quickly. Hopefully, some of you will tune into BCBC21 to see how we have maximised genetic gain in our herd, it would be unfair of me to share any other detail in the short term as the conference organisers have put a huge effort into make the online event a success however, I have no doubt the ICBF team will be out in early February where we can introduce you all to some of the leading genetics on farm via the ICBF social media channels.

2020 has been to say the least, a strange and challenging year but us farmers are no strangers to challenge. I would be happy with how all has gone for us on farm and as a family. The herd has performed well, breeding was our best year so far which will lead to a busy spring. We took on numerous charity projects from #AgMentalHealthWeek to supporting Embrace Farm through our charity calendar and Run1000. On a personal level we are in our new house which makes daily life so much easier with loads of space and comfort. As much as we had to stay safe and stay apart during the year, we still managed to grab time to switch of and enjoy ourselves in a safe manner which is vital given the long hours farming can consume.

Santa is nearly upon us and I can safely say it is the first time I have seen a calf on the Santa list. Becky wanted nothing else for Christmas only a show calf. She is a phenomenal farmer for her age, great work ethic with a huge passion for livestock so we were happy to support and encourage her and this week we will be welcoming two new calves to the farm from the Eedy herd. While long term the calves will have to be managed differently to the rest of the herd, I believe above all else it is vital we encourage the next generation of farmers. Becky has her heart set on farming and we both feel it is so important she gets a good education and travel to get an idea of what type of cow she wants to milk and breed long term. The main thing being that she can do it profitably with high standards.

It has been a pleasure to work with the ICBF team on #FutureOfFarming over the year. On behalf of myself, Paula and #TeamHynes, we would like to wish you all a very safe and peaceful Christmas and best wishes for 2021.